Mar 11, 2011

Easy Ways to Keep Your Leadership Strong, part 2 - Help Your People Be Loyal and Commited

In previous post Easy Ways to Keep Your Leadership Strong, part 1 we talked about keeping (not losing) trust of your followers/employees, and making it easy for them to trust you, and (why not) - like you.

In ''Easy Ways to Keep Your Leadership Strong'' series of articles I will write about most important steps you can take to ensure your leadership will be strong, and your chances to gain and keep followers are as good as they could be.

Step 1 was obvious: Earn and keep trust.

Common sense, right? I agree that common sense is often not a common practice. That is why I like to repeat it and look at it very, very closely. Every now and then I like to reevaluate ideas and principles i believe in or compare them to what I am seeing in real life.

Including couple of examples, or own thoughts can help


1. Keep your word
2. Keep your promises


1. Resist the urge to say it on the first place

2. Explain why you could not deliver what you were supposed to

3. Offer alternative if possible (at least you have been thinking about what you CAN deliver)

4. Offer to revise the opportunities at agreed time frame (next month, next year, when you hit the milestone ...)

Can you remember how you felt when you were let down, or expecting something that was promised to you and the promise was all you got? I can.


I talk every day with great people who did not get a bonus they were due, additional people in their teams that they were promised, marketing budget, better position, or something else that they were looking forward to and deserved. I dare say that more often than not - their boss did not mention a thing, let alone empathized with a disappointed person/employee.

What kind of feelings, level of motivation, commitment and loyalty can you expect from that person?

Do not leave people not getting what they expected, and just move on as nothing has happened. It may seem it's only words, but we are all listening for what our leader is saying and comparing it with what they are doing. Or what results are following.

Don't mean to scare you of saying something, just feel like every time we say a word or make a promise, we lay our integrity on the table for our people to examine it.

Remember, when you are a leader, or trying to become one - everyone is looking at you.

One poll on LinkedIn showed communication and listening were most important for a good leader. Whether we agree with it or not, if you can talk well - people will (pretend to) listen, but if they don't trust you you will not convince them to buy the idea or take the action you want them to (even more so if you are not looking).

They might listen to you if they are curious, but that will not make them loyal or committed.

We need people who will be loyal and committed to their (our) goals i.e. business results. You as a manager or their leader will be responsible to make these results (always) better.

I would like us to think about easy, but important tools and actions, that will win you more leadership credibility and skill than most degrees, training courses or formal education.

You are probably looking for your own answers and formula, and I believe that's the best you can do. I will join you on your leadership journey by sharing thoughts, what I learned, where I went wrong, what worked well for me or others.

You can consider my, other people's, or (famous) leaders ideas. You still need your answers. They will be most important for you. Please do share your thoughts in comments below.

I can trust, or be loyal to someone who (I believe) has my best interest at heart. I evaluate his/her words and actions. How about you? What criteria are your most important ones when you are choosing to trust/be loyal to your boss, or someone you see as your leader?

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